Some Legal Updates

June 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm (family law, Uncategorized)

I thought I would take a moment to give an update on some new laws for 2010. While they have been in effect since January, they haven’t been getting much press.

The Illinois legislature passed the No Contact Order Act. Under the Act, victims of stalking are able to file a petition for relief if they are unable to do so under the Illinois domestic violence laws. This is a civil remedy for victims (there are already criminal penalties for stalking). In a nutshell, stalking involves repeated acts by an individual rather than a solitary incident. These acts are defined in the act as “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person or suffer emotional distress.” “Stalking behavior includes following a person, conducting surveillance of the person, appearing at the person’s home, work or school, making unwanted phone calls, sending unwanted emails or text messages, leaving objects for the person, vandalizing the person’s property, or injuring a pet.” Under the act, the victim can have the alleged stalker banned from their place of employment, home, and school. They can also have the alleged stalker prohibited from purchasing or owning firearms.

New this year is the expansion of the Notice to be given on Orders of Protection issued in Criminal or Civil proceedings. Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act 720 ILCS 60, an Order of Protection may be issued independently, in conjunction with a pending civil action, or in conjunction with a criminal proceeding involving domestic violence. “Upon the request of the petitioner, the clerk of the circuit court shall send a certified copy of the order of protection to any specified health care facility or health care practitioner requested by the petitioner at the mailing address provided by the petitioner.” This effectively prohibits the respondent from having any access to any protected child’s medical records. Additionally, if requested by the petitioner, the notice of the issuance of the Order of Protection shall be served within 24 hours on any day care or school of a protected child. In turn, the day care or school is forbidden to allow the respondent any access to the child’s records.

If you need assistance obtaining either a No Contact Order or an Order of Protection, please contact Larsen and Edlund.

Jennifer

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